Tag Archives: North Carolina

Progressives…Time to Stop Playing

The signs are everywhere, from North Carolina to Indiana to the hallowed halls of Congress.

North Carolina votes NO to gay marriage

 

Those who want to take America back to the 19th century are girding their loins for the battle ahead. Their endgame is obvious, and has been for some time.

The question that remains is whether those who call themselves progressives are ready to put aside their differences and prepare to “throw hands” (metaphorically, you understand).

The stakes are as follows. If we want to have any hope that the more than 12 million Americans currently out of work will ever have decent jobs again in their lifetime, we’re going to have to play politics to win.

That won’t be easy for progressives.

We pride ourselves at being somehow better, more high minded than our opponents. We won’t engage in certain tactics that they take for granted to win elections. Maybe we don’t have to. But we do have to have a clear idea of what we want to accomplish this and every election cycle. And yes, we may have to be ruthless in order to get it done. For the sake of our kids, if ruthless is what it takes, so be it.

Our political aim should be threefold.

You may not think he’s done everything he should have, but electing Barack Obama to a second term is essential. So too is widening the margin of the Democratic majority in the Senate. The third priority is to turn just 25 Republican seats in the House to Democrats.

Why are these three goals important? The GOP minority in the Senate just killed (for now) a bill to freeze the interest rate on college student loans. In  Indiana, a decent, long serving Republican US Senator just got his head handed to him by a Tea Partry Neanderthal. In North Carolina, a referendum just passed defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

These are three recent reasons progressives must be ready to stand and fight this election cycle. Another will be evident to anyone who has passed over or under a bridge, an overpass, train trestle, whatever. Folks, our infrastructure is falling apart.

The same people who think corporations are people tell us we’re too broke to fix our roads. How many able bodied Americans could be trained and put to work creating the steel that upgrades these structures so central to our lives? Who will mix and lay the concrete that replaces the foundations that have rotted away from years of neglect?

Oh yeah, and before I forget. Right now the nation’s unemployment rate stands at 8.1%.

If it ever got back down to where it was when Bill Clinton was president (3.9%), we’d all breathe a sigh of relief. I want to go one better. I want every able bodied American who wants to work to have a job. Then those don’t will have to come up with a really good reason why they can’t work like the rest of us.

And while I’m at it, I want universal health care, quality education for all Americans, and the end of the mess that has become our immigration system.

The President dropped his “to do” list on Congress the other day.

You’ve just read mine, and what progressives need to do to reach these lofty goals.

What’s your “to do” list? Can progressives get it done?

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Dead Prostitutes – Does Anyone Care? MOMS does.

So many American cities have women who, for one reason or another, live on the margins. In some cases, they are that sad combination of hooker and drug addict. They sell sex to feed their habits, or to feed their children.

In one small, North Carolina City, nine such women have vanished since 2005.

rocky mount women

Six were later found dead, murdered but so decomposed that finding a cause of death became near impossible. All of the victims were black.

The city is Rocky Mount, 60 miles northeast of Raleigh. Sadly, the story of prostitutes who die by violence is not unique to this particular place. Yet residents of Rocky Mount tell a story of alleged police inaction due largely to the lifestyles of the victims. That too is not unique. It’s almost a given that serial killers can ply their trade among prostitutes and drug addicts because it takes so long for the law to recognize what’s happening.

In the case of Rocky Mount, it wasn’t until the latest victim was discovered in June that  local and state police formed a task force, and it was last month that the FBI got involved. They won’t say if they suspect a serial killer, but an awful lot of people in Rocky Mount think its the work of one man. Keep in mind that three women have disappeared, and none of them have been found.

The issue here, beyond the tragedy of these homicides, is the value of human life. Say what we will about all being equal, we treat some as less than equal, in some cases, far less. The life of a drug addicted hooker isn’t one to envy on any level. Still, our own humanity should demand we care, especially if such women are deliberately targeted.

In a couple of cases, women who walked the streets of Rocky Mount and jumped in and our of cars with men decided it wasn’t worth the risk.

One woman who knew two of the victims has founded a group to publicize the slayings, and to search for the three women who remain missing.

The group is called Murdered or Missing Sisters or MOMS. They’ve raised awareness to the point that national media has begun to cover the story.

While that’s all well and good, one wonders if these killings would have been highlighted sooner if the women involved weren’t part of that shadow world of people living on society’s margins.

Will we ever consider that their lives mean as much as anyone else’s? You tell me.

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